Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
ISIS members with the flag. VOA
  • The families of the Indian hostages were trying to locate their kin after Iraqi forces freed Mosul from the clutches of ISIS
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also been raising the issue with other countries in the Middle East region

New Delhi, July 10, 2017: With Mosul liberated from the Islamic State, India has activated various channels to locate the 39 Indians who were abducted by the terror group from the Iraqi city three years ago and is sending Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh to Iraq, an official said on Monday.

In response to a query, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said that as soon as the announcement of Mosul’s liberation was made by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, the Indian government activated various channels for locating the missing Indians.


He said that Singh will leave for Erbil.

“Ambassador of India to Iraq and our Consul General in Erbil have been instructed to continue the efforts to locate them on priority.”

Baglay added that Iraqi authorities have conveyed that all cooperation would be extended and instructions have been issued by them to all relevant Iraqi agencies.

ALSO READ: Facebook uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to fight Terrorism

The development comes as External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday assured Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh that her ministry was making all-out efforts to trace and facilitate the return of the 39 Indians.

Reacting to reports that the families of the Indian hostages were trying to locate their kin after Iraqi forces freed Mosul from the clutches of ISIS, Amarinder sought her active intervention in the matter. He said the families of the hostages were keenly awaiting the return of their kin.

“Assuring of all possible efforts by her ministry to bring back the Indians, who were construction workers taken into custody in 2014, Sushma said General V.K. Singh had been sent to Iraq to coordinate with the Iraqi government to facilitate the return of the Indians stuck there. She said she had also directed the Indian embassy to extend all help to the stranded Indians,” a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) disclosed in Chandigarh.

Air India officials at the airports had also been instructed to facilitate their return, said Sushma, adding that her ministry had activated all available sources to trace the missing Indians, who were last heard of hiding in a church in Mosul, the spokesperson added.

While Sushma has held several meetings with the families of the hostages since the abduction, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also been raising the issue with other countries in the Middle East region.

The Chief Minister said he was hopeful the 39 Indians would be back home soon, now that Mosul was no longer in the control of ISIS.

Baglay also said the liberation of Mosul “is an important milestone in the global war on terror, and India welcomes it”.

Iraqi forces liberated Mosul on Sunday after 266 days of fierce battles, bringing to an end three years of IS rule.

Last month, Baglay said that the Indians were alive and “everything possible” was being done to ensure their safe return.

“The information we have so far is that they are alive because we have no other information to prove that they are not alive,” Baglay told reporters on June 16. (IANS)


Popular

VOA

This image released by Disney Theatrical Productions shows, from second left, Michael James Scott as Genie, Michael Maliakel as Aladdin, and Shoba Narayan as Jasmine after a performance of the Broadway musical "Aladdin" in New York on Sept. 28, 2021

As kids growing up in different states, Shoba Narayan and Michael Maliakel shared a love of one favorite film — "Aladdin." Both are of Indian descent, and in the animated movie, they saw people who looked like them.

That shared love has gone full-circle this month as Narayan and Maliakel lead the Broadway company of the musical "Aladdin" out of the pandemic, playing Princess Jasmine and the hero from the title, respectively.

Keep Reading Show less
VOA

Bottles of Jack Daniel's whiskeys are displayed at Rossi's Deli in San Francisco

Jack Daniel's is the world's most popular whiskey brand, but until recently, few people knew the liquor was created by Nathan "Nearest" Green, an enslaved Black man who mentored Daniel.

"We've always known," says Debbie Staples, a great-great-granddaughter of Green's who heard the story from her grandmother. … "He made the whiskey, and he taught Jack Daniel. And people didn't believe it … it's hurtful. I don't know if it was because he was a Black man."

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Aksh yadav on Unsplash

Cricket fans can now book the ultimate experience with the official accommodation booking partner for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup

Cricket fans can now book the ultimate experience with the official accommodation booking partner for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup, Booking.com. The T20 Pavillion, a bespoke cricket-themed luxury stay that transforms the Presidential Suite at Grand Hyatt Mumbai Hotel and Residences into a classic cricket stadium.


The suite offers guests an all-inclusive once-in-a-lifetime experience during the India vs Pakistan ICC Men's T20 World Cup match on October 24, 2021, packed with quirks and luxuries that is sure to satisfy even the biggest cricket enthusiast. Additionally, as a part of the experience, guests will also have the exclusive opportunity to meet Bollywood actor Shraddha Kapoor at The T20 Pavilion.

Keep reading... Show less